The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, January 31, 2018, Page A4, Image 4

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Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
A powerful
power council
ven before Ted Ferrioli
and Richard Devlin
officially joined
the Northwest Power and
Conservation Council this
month, they were talking by
phone several times a week
about their upcoming work.
Two decades in the Oregon
Legislature forged those
connections. Ferrioli, of
John Day, was the longtime
Republican Senate leader.
Devlin, of Tualatin, was Senate
Democratic leader and later co-
chairman of the Legislature’s
budget committee. Said Devlin:
“We’ve always had a pretty
good working relationship.”
That relationship will be
key as the pair move from
the 90-member Legislature to
the eight-member, four-state
council. It comprises two
members each from Oregon,
Washington, Idaho and
The council influences
billions of dollars in public
and private spending on power
generation, fish protection and
restoration, water use and other
“The job is an intersection
with every single public policy
issue that affects the quality
of life in the upper Columbia
River Basin,” Ferrioli said.
“The future of the
sustainability of communities
really depends on our continued
access to low-cost, highly
renewable hydroelectric
power — and increasingly on
alternative energy sources,
including wind, geothermal
and solar. If you look at the
epicenter of all those issues,
they all intersect in the upper
Columbia River Basin.”
Gov. Kate Brown appointed
Ferrioli and Devlin to
succeed Pendleton lawyer
and rancher Henry Lorenzen
and former Secretary of State
Bill Bradbury as Oregon’s
They have their work cut out
for them.
Congress authorized
the council in 1980 as an
independent agency to assess
the Northwest’s electricity
needs — planning both for
electricity and for protection
of fish and wildlife. Congress
acted in response to the multi-
billion-dollar fiasco of the
Washington Public Power
Supply System, better known
as WPPSS, in which public
officials grossly overestimated
the region’s future demand for
electricity and the viability of
nuclear power.
Five nuclear plants were
started, one was completed
and currently operates, and
WPPSS now is called Energy
Northwest. The region’s
ratepayers still pay the price for
those past bad decisions made
by good people.
As Lorenzen left the
Northwest Power and
Conservation Council on
Jan. 16, he warned that
state legislators and other
policymakers once again
were making decisions about
renewable energy and other
resources on the basis of
politics, not the state-of-the-art
methodologies developed by
the council.
“Our challenge, I believe, is
to make certain in the future,
to the best we can, that the
methodologies that we have
developed also are taken into
consideration by those entities,
those persons who are making
those decisions, whether it be
the traditional utility managers
or the legislators,” Lorenzen
As veteran legislators with
statewide perspectives, Ferrioli
and Devlin should be the right
people for that task.
• Grant County Courthouse — 201
S. Humbolt St., Suite 280, Canyon City
97820. Phone: 541-575-0059. Fax: 541-
• Canyon City — P.O. Box 276, Canyon
City 97820. Phone: 541-575-0509.
Fax: 541-575-0515. Email: tocc1862@
• Dayville — P.O. Box 321, Dayville
97825. Phone: 541-987-2188. Fax: 541-
• John Day — 450 E. Main St, John
Day, 97845. Phone: 541-575-0028. Fax:
541-575-1721. Email: cityjd@centurytel.
• Long Creek — P.O. Box 489, Long
Creek 97856. Phone: 541-421-3601. Fax:
541-421-3075. Email: info@cityoflong-
• Monument — P.O. Box 426, Monu-
ment 97864. Phone and fax: 541-934-
2025. Email: cityofmonument@centurytel.
• Mt. Vernon — P.O. Box 647, Mt. Ver-
Blue Mountain
non 97865. Phone: 541-932-4688. Fax:
541-932-4222. Email:
• Prairie City — P.O. Box 370, Prairie
City 97869. Phone: 541-820-3605. Fax:
820-3566. Email:
• Seneca — P.O. Box 208, Seneca
97873. Phone and fax: 541-542-2161.
• Gov. Kate Brown, D — 254 State
Capitol, Salem 97310. Phone: 503-378-
3111. Fax: 503-378-6827. Website: www.
• Oregon Legislature — State Capitol,
Salem, 97310. Phone: (503) 986-1180.
Website: www. (includes
Oregon Constitution and Oregon Revised
• State Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario (Dis-
trict: 60), Room H-475, State Capitol, 900
Court St. N.E., Salem OR 97301. Phone:
503-986-1460. Email: rep.cliffbentz@state. Website:
Become a high school official
By Bob Gardner
and Peter Weber
To the Blue Mountain Eagle
They don’t make the headlines,
their names are not in the box scores
and they don’t make the all-star
teams, but some of the most import-
ant individuals in high school sports
are the contest officials.
These individuals are so import-
ant that, in fact, there would be no
organized competitive sports at the
high school level without the men
and women who officiate these
contests every day across the coun-
try. Subtract the dedicated people
who officiate high school sports
and competitive sports would no
longer be organized; they would be
In most areas, high school offi-
cials are retiring faster than new of-
ficials are being added. And junior
varsity, freshmen and middle school
games are being postponed — or
even cancelled — because there are
not enough men and women to offi-
ciate them.
Anyone looking for a unique way
to contribute to the local community
should consider becoming a certified
high school official. For individuals
who played sports in high school, of-
ficiating is a great way to stay close to
the sport after their playing days have
ended. Officiating helps people stay
in shape, expands their social and
professional network and offers part-
time work that is flexible, yet pays. In
fact, officiating is a form of commu-
nity service, but with compensation.
Another benefit of officiating is
that individuals become role models
so that teenagers in the community
can learn the life lessons that high
school sports teach. Students learn
to respect their opponents and the
rules of the game and the importance
of practicing good sportsmanship,
thanks, in part, to those men and
women who officiate. And the objec-
tivity and integrity that high school
officials display is an example that
every young person needs to observe
firsthand. In short, communities
around the country will be stronger
because of the life lessons that high
school officials help teach the next
Officiating is a great way to stay
connected to sports and to give back
to the local high school and com-
munity. We need dedicated men and
women to become involved so that
high school sports can continue to
prosper for years to come.
Individuals interested in learning
more about becoming a high school
official, or even beginning the reg-
istration process, can do so at high-
Bob Gardner is the executive di-
rector of the National Federation of
State High School Associations, and
Peter Weber is the executive director
of the Oregon School Activities Asso-
OTEC delivery
charge inequitable
To the Editor:
Oregon Trail Electric Consum-
ers Cooperative residential mem-
bers have experienced increases in
OTEC’s monthly “delivery charge”
on their monthly bill in recent years.
In a little over eight years, accompa-
nied by an impressive propaganda
campaign, OTEC has raised this fixed
charge, the money you have to pay
OTEC just to buy electricity, by al-
most 300 percent, from $10 to $29.50
per month, and they would like to
raise it even higher. Idaho Power’s
monthly charge is $8 for Oregon res-
idents and even less in Idaho. Public
Utilities Commissions in the various
states tend to keep these monthly de-
livery charges low and recover most
delivery costs through a tiered-rate
system based on usage and its bene-
fits, but electric cooperatives are for
the most part unregulated monopo-
lies that have little oversight from the
Public Utility Commission, so they
get away with the practice.
OTEC constantly reminds mem-
bers of our low rate for electricity
used, but figures from OTEC tell an-
other tale: Because of our high deliv-
ery charge, more than half of OTEC
members would have a lower bill if
they were with Idaho Power. That’s
you if you average less than 1,000
kilowatt-hours a month.
Consumer Reports commissioned
a study of these fixed charges that in-
dicated that higher fixed charges are
inequitable, increase the bills of low
usage customers like singles and el-
derly the most and disproportionately
impact the poor while reducing in-
centives for energy efficiency.
There are changes that could help
lower fixed charges on member’s
bills, though.
Employee compensation would
be a good place to start as the top eight
employees took home $2,286,446 in
compensation and other benefits in
2016, skewed high by the $785,135
raked in by exiting CEO Werner
Buehler. The elected directors’ yearly
take for three to eight hours of work a
week varied from $16,100 to $26,250
Grant County’s Weekly Newspaper
P UBLISHER ............................... M ARISSA W ILLIAMS , MARISSA @ BMEAGLE . COM
E DITOR .................................... S EAN H ART , EDITOR @ BMEAGLE . COM
R EPORTER ............................... R ICHARD H ANNERS , RICK @ BMEAGLE . COM
S PORTS ................................... A NGEL C ARPENTER , ANGEL @ BMEAGLE . COM
M ARKETING R EP ....................... K IM K ELL , ADS @ BMEAGLE . COM
with an hourly wage that ranged from
$71 to $103 per hour, depending on
the director.
Another place to look are programs
unrelated to OTEC’s purpose of pro-
viding power and assisting members
with their electricity infrastructure
needs. OTEC spent $655,681 on
these unrelated programs in the last
five years.
Christopher Christie
Baker City
Transmission line
hurts Eastern Oregon Government works
follow template
An open letter to Gov. Brown:
I heard your perfect response to
the Trump Administration’s plans
for offshore drilling along our Ore-
gon Coast: “In what universe would
this be okay? Our coastal beaches
are really important to Oregonians.
They are very important to who we
are and very important to our econo-
my.” I knew I had to write to you on
behalf of all of us in Eastern Oregon.
Eastern Oregon has been fighting
for its very life for the past 10 years.
Now Idaho Power, a $6 billion out-
of-state corporation, has plans to
take advantage of Eastern Oregon.
They are trying to do it as quickly
and quietly as possible.
The proposed B2H transmission
line from Hemingway, Idaho, to
Boardman, Oregon, offers no direct
benefit to anyone in Oregon. It will
impact prime agricultural land and
local landowners, degrade our wild
lands, endanger our wildlife. Tour-
ists travel to Eastern Oregon to es-
cape crowds and industrialization.
They come to hike or hunt, enjoy
our relaxed pace of life and enjoy
our natural scenery.
I live in Baker City, where tour-
ists come to visit the Oregon Trail
Interpretive Center. The B2H, as
planned, will cross the Oregon Trail
eight times. Monster 200-foot-tall
towers, less than a quarter mile from
the center’s picture windows, will
mar the view of the Oregon Trail.
With the B2H, visitors will trav-
el along 300 miles of transmission
lines supported by steel towers as
(including online access)
Grant County .....................................$40
Everywhere else in U.S. .....................$51
Outside Continental U.S. ....................$60
Subscriptions must be paid prior to delivery
high as 16-story buildings, just as the
people who visit and live on the Or-
egon Coast will see miles and miles
of drilling rigs.
I appreciate your strong state-
ment on behalf of the residents of
western Oregon. As governor for
the whole state of Oregon, I would
respectfully request that this same
statement be made on behalf of the
residents of Eastern Oregon.
JoAnn Marlette
Baker City
To the Editor:
In regard to the story “The FISA
Memo: What We Know So Far”
by the American Liberty Report, I
would like to post this letter. Those
who have been working for the
government for any extended peri-
od of time have never learned, or
have forgotten, to think for them-
selves. Their job has always been
a set template of what to do, when
to do it and never to question it,
so when something new or differ-
ent comes along they refer back to
the template, and if the question is
not answered there, the question
or situation must be either radical,
irrelevant or wrong. We cannot ex-
pect lifer government employees to
accept anything new that they have
not been trained on, or anything
that actually comes from the peo-
ple they are supposed to serve. The
sad thing is that these government
drones are teaching that same SOP
to our youth, who can get a temp
(at least) entry-level position at the
government, which pays twice what
they can get in the private sector en-
try level. And so, the beat has gone
on for the last 30-plus years. Presi-
dent Trump comes along and turns
the template upside down, and they
hate him for the message he deliv-
ers from all of us working people. I
can hear the piper coming down the
street. Can you?
Tim K. Smith
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send address changes to:
Blue Mountain Eagle
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Copyright © 2018 Blue Mountain Eagle
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